KEY POINTS

  • Police and FBI were negotiating for the release of all employees
  • The suspect was charged with bank robbery and kidnapping
  • No one was injured

UPDATE: 1.48 a.m. ET – One person has been arrested after an 8-hour standoff at a Wells Fargo bank in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Police said all five hostages were rescued and were safe.

"A peaceful resolution, the best outcome we could have today," Blair Anderson, St. Cloud Police chief, said in a press conference late Thursday evening.

The suspect was identified as Ray Reco McNeary, a bank customer who was upset about a prior transaction. He was charged with bank robbery and kidnapping.

McNeary had previous convictions for terroristic threats, domestic assault, trespassing and disorderly conduct. He was jailed twice in March for suspicion of felony domestic assault and for terroristic threats.

Original story

There is an active hostage situation at a Wells Fargo bank in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Police and FBI were negotiating with a suspect after several employees were held hostage inside the bank Thursday afternoon.

At least four of the employees were reportedly released as of 9.30 p.m. ET, reported USA Today. However, it is still unclear how many people are inside the bank.

St. Cloud Police responded to a report of a possible robbery at the bank around 1.45 p.m. Thursday. The negotiators are working late into the evening, almost six hours into the standoff in an attempt to free all the hostages.

A reporter posted a video on Twitter showing a female hostage being released through the front door of the bank Thursday evening. Armed law enforcement officers can be seen waiting outside the building. The video also showed someone throwing a wad of cash out of the front door. 

Three subsequent videos posted by the same reporter showed three hostages being released one after the other.

The police are still negotiating to release all the employees, St. Cloud Police Lt. Lori Ellering said in a news release.

"We can confirm a hostage situation at Wells Fargo's St. Cloud South branch, located at 200 33rd Avenue South," Staci Schiller, a Wells Fargo spokesperson said. "We are cooperating with local law enforcement and will do whatever we can to assist the authorities in their investigation. We recognize this is a traumatic moment for the community and our colleagues. The safety and security of our customers and employees is our most important priority."

Though the police asked the public to avoid the area, several people were at the scene watching from a safe distance and cheering as the hostages were released.

There were no reports of injuries.

This is a developing story.

police-car-2846867_1920 Representational image Photo: Pixabay